Fernando Brandan of Melbourne (left) steals the ball from Rolieny Bonevacia of the Phoenix.
Fernando Brandan of Melbourne (left) steals the ball from Rolieny Bonevacia of the Phoenix. Ross Setford

City coach delighted with Argentine signing

FOOTBALL: South Americans Bruno Fornaroli and Nicolas Colazo have taken most of the limelight at Melbourne City, along with Australia's Tim Cahill.

But another from the continent, Argentine Fernando Brandan has stepped out of the shadows to be one of the club's star performers in a bright start to the A-League season.

Brandan's next test is against reigning champion Adelaide United at AAMI Park tomorrow night and judging by his first few performances, he could be the one to shine in City's push for a first A-League crown.

It certainly hasn't taken long for the 26-year-old to make his mark.

After seemingly being brought in as a replacement for Aaron Mooy, he has been plying his trade on the left wing.

His work rate for a wide man is something that has impressed coach John van't Schip, who was full of praise for his new recruit when speaking to reporters.

"Fernando is a player that works for the team and on top of that has his individual qualities, but I think the most important thing is that within the way we want to play, he never gives up,” he said.

"He fights, he's disciplined and when he has the ball he's dangerous.

"He likes to link up, he has an individual action, he's street smart, so we're very happy with him.”

His goals for City have also been a bonus.

Brandan has scored in City's past three matches in all competitions, including the clinching goal in Tuesday night's 2-0 FFA Cup semi-final win over Melbourne Victory.

That strike made it four goals in all competitions since joining from Temperley in Argentina's Primera Division in the off-season.

Van't Schip won't mind if Brandan continues to make the headlines, particularly if Colazo, on loan from Boca Juniors in Argentina, is on the sidelines for any length of time.

He has missed the last two games with an ear infection and has now had surgery on a perforated eardrum.

Bruce Kamau is in contention for a spot in the team after recovering from a concussion sustained in last week's 3-2 loss to Perth Glory.

Socceroo Ivan Franjic, meanwhile, who came off the bench in the FFA Cup in midweek, is still a few weeks away from a start for City after a virus caused inflammation around his heart during pre-season.

Adelaide is yet to win a game this season and sits in eighth spot on the ladder with one point from three games.

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